What is a pore? A pore is an opening into the skin through which sweat and oil can reach the skin’s surface. Each pore is linked with a sebaceous gland, and can become clogged with dead skin cells and oil, creating a pimple, blackhead, or whitehead.
Pores can contract and expand, and subsequently appear smaller or larger, depending on how much of dirt is stuck in them. There are many proven ways to get the dirt out.
5 Effective Ways to Unclog Pores:
1. Charcoal Masks
Activated charcoal is a trendy skincare ingredient. It can also be found in body and facial scrubs, cleansers, and masks.
As an ingredient in a skincare product, activated charcoal offers various benefits including removing pollution, dirt, and toxins from pores. But, more research is needed to verify its efficacy.
Directions for activated charcoal masks vary depending on the product. For most masks, you will need to rinse your face before using the product, then leave the mask on for about 5-10 minutes before removing it.
Some masks harden, and can be pulled off, while others need to be rinsed off using water.
Dermatologists warn against using a known DIY facemask that’s popular online. It is a homemade mask that is made from glue and charcoal powder, that’s applied and peeled off.
This combination can be very dangerous, therefore, leaving your skin damaged and dry. Worse, it may even clog pores, instead of unclogging them.
Instead of using a DIY mask, you can buy an activated charcoal mask online, or at your local beauty or drug store. Also, you can consult your dermatologist for a safe skincare alternative.
The term “exfoliation” is used to describe a treatment that removes dead skin cells and cleanses the skin. This can help unclog pores.
There are various types of exfoliation, including chemical and mechanical.
Mechanical options include:
- Cleansing cloths
Some scrubs can be harsh on your skin. Choose products that use synthetic beads, if you have sensitive skin.
Chemical options contain beta hydroxy acids (like salicylic acid), alpha hydroxy acids (such asglycolic acid), topical enzymes, or retinols to clean the pores. Consult a dermatologist if you want to try chemical exfoliation.
Some of them can be drying or harsh, therefore, it is very important to get help from a professional. Also, they can help you determine how often to use these treatments.
Your pores are open for some reasons, dehydration (which is a lack of water in your skin, not dry skin), genetics and part of the ageing process, according to Kristi Shuba co-founder of Katherine Daniels Cosmetics and skincare specialist, that is why it is very important to maintain moisture levels in your skin, but, how?
‘Hydrating treatments, and anything that will flood the surface of your skin with moisture are great for diminishing pores. Treatments like these can help iron away lines, and this will give the appearance of snapping the pores closed.’
4. Regular Facial or Chemical Peel
Professional peels are very good at helping rejuvenate your skin, by encouraging old skin cells to shed, then reveal healthier, and fresher skin. Also this can help kick-start a process known as ‘purging,’ which will help to lift cellular debris and blackheads from pores, therefore, making your skin appear tighter and smoother. In turn, your pores will look reduced.
But, it is important to choose the right one. Skin peels range from medium, light, and deep, and there are a range of different ingredients that you can discuss with your dermatologist or facialist, depending on your skin type. Some use TCAs or trichloroacetic acids that cause the top layers of your skin to dry and peel-off, glycolics, that lifts dead skin cells without sensitising, and fruit acid, which is a type of AHA, which boosts hydration in dry skin.
If you have sensitive skin, facials might be a gentler approach, and facials are actually a little more beneficial for long term pore management. Facials can help thoroughly hydrate and cleanse your skin, and when considering open pores or facials, always choose the most hydrating types.
Steaming is a typical part when you get a facial treatment. A specialist uses a skin steamer to fuse moist, warm air onto your face. This will help open your pores.
When your pores are open, the skincare specialist can more easliy and better apply treatments such as moisturizers and masks because they are absorbed more deeply into your skin. Doing this may offer better results.
If facials benefit your skin, you can try at least once per month, for best results.
2 Methods to Avoid:
Natural skincare enthusiasts may suggest lemon to help in drying out acne scarring. But, remember, lemon is highly acidic. Placing lemon directly on your face can change your skin’s natural pH level. This can lead to irritation, dryness, and even damage.
Instead of placing lemon on your skin, consider putting some lemon juice into your dirnking water daily. This can help in hydrating your skin, and give you a dose of healthy antioxidants.
2. Baking Soda Scrub
Advocates of home skincare routines may suggest mixing baking soda with water or your facial cleanser. But, think twice before going for this scrub, as this can irritate and dry out your skin.
That’s because the pH of baking soda is too alkaline for your face. This can strip your skin’s natural barrier, therefore, leaving it vulnerable to environmental stressors.
Consult your dermatologist about an alternative treatment plan for unclogging pores.
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